book
book
book

book

Document/Book

Accession Number
986.001
Description
A red hard-covered book with the title in large print across the top in gold, beneath it a relief image of a woman in a long gown holding an open book on her lap.
Narrative
The Girl's Own Annual was a publication popular with girls and young women during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The hand-written inscription on the front page of this example reveals that it was given by Joan Dunsmuir (Mrs. Robert Dunsmuir) to someone called "Norah" for Christmas in 1906.

It is highly probable that the recipient was Leonora Combe (1889-1979), also known as Nora Combe, and later, as Mrs. Hew Paterson. Nora's mother was a beneficiary of Joan Dunsmuir's Estate. An excerpt of Mrs. Dunsmuir's will reads: "I bequeath to Mrs. Harvey Combe the wife of Harvey Combe of Victoria aforesaid Deputy Registrar Supreme Court of British Columbia the sum of One thousand dollars".

On March 27, 2002 Castle Society curator Bruce Davies recorded an oral history interview with Nora Combe's son, Pat Paterson (d.2009). The interview followed from a visit Mr. Paterson made to Craigdarroch. During that Castle visit, Mr. Paterson told Davies said that his mother told him that she frequently visited Joan Dunsmuir at Craigdarroch while living as a girl in the Rockland area of Victoria. She said that she rode her donkey to Craigdarroch and visited Joan in her sitting room. At the end of her visits, Joan would reach into an opening in her skirt and pull out a purse. She would then give Nora a gold coin from the purse. During the 2002 oral history interview, Mr. Paterson affirmed the story. 

The 1902 Victoria directory lists Harvey Combe (Nora's father), Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court, as residing at 12 Rockland Avenue. This listing corroborates part of Mr. Paterson's information. Whether his mother Nora, a friend of Joan Dunsmuir, is the same person that Joan Dunsmuir gave this Girl's Own Annual to, is difficult to prove. In 1906 when this book was given by Joan Dunsmuir, Nora Combe was 17 years old. A photograph taken of her in 1915 can be seen here: 
http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/mrs-hew-paterson-nee-leonora-or-nora-combe
 
History of Use
Unkown. The Castle Society purchased this book from a Victoria, B.C. antique dealer in 1986 after Society collections volunteer John Veillette saw it and alerted the curator.
Date
1906
Dimensions
28 cm x 4 cm x 23 cm
Inscription
Norah from Mrs. Dunsmuir Craigdarroch. Xmas 1906
Indecipherable stamp repeated multiple times. Appears to be a business stmap from a mining consulting firm.
 
Country of Origin
United Kingdom

Related people/businesses/organizations
Joan Olive Dunsmuir (owner)
Religious Tract Society (publisher)
Related Association
Craigdarroch (was used in)